International Grant Writer Assists Faculty

Posted: August 5, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Christopher Anzalone

With one of the most diverse university student bodies in the United States, George Mason is expanding its international outlook even further, both in terms of faculty research and academic course offerings. To support faculty research, the Office of the Provost created an international grant writer position last year.

Susan Graziano
Susan Graziano
Photo by Evan Cantwell

Susan Graziano, who has held the position since its inception in January 2003 under Yehuda Lukacs, associate provost for global education, has a variety of duties. Her main focus is to assist faculty in writing persuasive proposals for grants from governmental and private sector organizations and agencies. She is also responsible for coordinating such proposals and researching what funding options may fit in each individual case.

Graziano’s success stories at George Mason include the Title VI Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Program with Johanna Bockman, director of the Global Affairs Program. This U.S. Department of Education grant will allow the university to launch its Focus on Central Asia Program this fall.

In another initiative, the Fulbright Visiting Specialists Program: Direct Access to the Muslim World, Graziano worked with Peter Mandaville, assistant professor of public and international affairs and director of the Center for Global Studies; Sumaiya Hamdani, professor of history; and Bockman. As a result, the Council for International Exchange of Scholars awarded a grant that will enable Rehana Ghadially, professor of psychology at the Indian Institute of Technology, to come to George Mason next spring to facilitate a greater understanding of part of the Muslim world. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (formerly Learning in Retirement Institute), Fairfax County Public Schools, and Rotary International are also partners in the grant. “Together, these partnerships will bring Dr. Ghadially into contact with multiple sectors of the community, from schoolchildren and their teachers to the local business community, retired individuals, and the George Mason community of students and faculty,” says Graziano.

Graziano, who graduated from Bucknell University with a BA in art, worked for nearly two decades with the American Association of Museums, assisting in the development and evaluation of professional standards for museums. She served as the director of the Museum Assessment Program, which is a national peer review program funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency.

Graziano has some recommendations for faculty members interested in obtaining grants, both before and after they contact her for assistance:

  • Develop a one-page description of the project idea, including a short abstract, an estimate of the funding required, a timetable for the project, and what issue or issues the project will address and how.
  • Have a clear set of goals early on; it will make meeting deadlines later much easier.
  • Send in project descriptions so that potential funding options may be adequately researched.
  • Allow ample time to complete a grant proposal, generally a minimum of four weeks.
  • Only apply for grants that are a close match to the type of project that is being proposed and to which the faculty member is truly committed.

Faculty members interested in assistance with international grant writing may contact Graziano at 703-993-2995 or

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